US manufacturing company Linamar Corporation has entered an evaluation phase for the development of fuel cell electric delivery vans as part of its technology contract with the US Center for Transportation and the Environment (CTE).
CTE is managing the Next Generation Fuel Cell Delivery Van Deployment Project for the California Air Resources Board (CARB), intended to accelerate the adoption of clean freight transportation technologies. Linamar has partnered with Roush CleanTech and Ballard Power Systems to provide complete turnkey FCEV package delivery vans to UPS for an in-revenue service demonstration in California.
The CARB project includes developing, validating and deploying four fuel cell hybrid electric delivery vans. “The strength of CTE’s project lies in its team member experience with advanced vehicle manufacturing, utilization of proven, off-the-shelf components, participation of UPS as the fleet operator and deployment partner, and the propulsion system’s commercialization potential,” said Dan Raudebaugh, executive director of CTE, a non-profit, Atlanta-based organization that develops, promotes and implements advanced transportation technologies.
Over the past decade, Linamar notes it has made a substantial investment in automotive and commercial vehicle e-axle design, development and testing at its McLaren Engineering operations in Livonia, Michigan, as well as its McLaren Engineering centers in Germany and China. The company states that its second-generation e-axle for Class 4-6 commercial vehicles has benefitted from this investment, building on the success of its earlier DOE (Department of Energy) program for a Class 6 HEV delivery vehicle.
Its Gen 2.0 e-axle utilizes a robust beam axle design with low NVH helical gears, leveraging the company’s gear manufacturing expertise, and an integrated electric park lock. Its single-speed, single-motor design delivers 200kW and 11,400Nm to the rear axle, which the company claims provides excellent startability and gradeability under real-world delivery conditions.
Roush CleanTech is supplying the overall vehicle and system design, integration, build and commissioning for the fuel cell electric vehicles. “Roush’s expertise in clean mobility solutions is supported by decades of engineering, vehicle controls and integration experience with many of the major OEMs. Combine that with the fact that we have deployed more than 37,000 Ford medium-duty trucks and Blue Bird school buses featuring advanced technologies, such as propane autogas, and it provides fleets with a comfort level in transitioning away from traditional fuels like diesel,” said Todd Mouw, president of Roush. “Our customers have accumulated well over one billion road miles, so we understand how to engineer, sell, service and support our customers through the complete asset lifecycle.”
Ballard Power Systems supplies the fuel cell power technology designed to integrate with the e-axle and battery systems in the Ford F-59 chassis to provide the FCEV with a 241km range based on targeted driving cycles.